AI to oversee traffic in Delhi, US sees retaliatory tariffs: last week in business

By Elton Gomes

The United States of America finds itself in a difficult position after Mexican allies have imposed retaliatory tariffs, and European allies plan to do the same soon. In local news, the RBI’s latest measure spells out good news for co-operative banks, while Delhi’s traffic woes might be reduced dramatically as the police plan to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to regulate traffic.

Delhi Police to tap into AI for traffic management

The Delhi Police plans to use AI to manage a third of the city’s traffic and install depth sensors to smoothly regulate traffic signals. Top cops from the Delhi Police shared the concept note for the project – estimated around Rs 1,000 crore – with lieutenant governor Anil Baijal and senior government officers.

The plan was approved, and a technical consultant has been hired to implement the project. An officer privy to the matter said that in July, the police will place a tender for the sensor-based cameras that will feed data into AI software. Depender Pathak, the special commissioner of police, told Business Today, “Around 7,000-8,000 cameras with multidirectional infrared and colourless laser sensors will count the volume based on image pattern analysis.”

GST council might include natural gas under its ambit

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) council could consider including natural gas under its ambit. The Council’s joint secretary Dheeraj Rastogi said that aviation turbine fuel could also be brought under the purview of the GST. Petroleum products such as kerosene, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas are currently included under the GST.

Rastogi said that petroleum is a large source of revenue not only for the Centre but also for states. He added that “on natural gas front, there is some consensus for bringing it into GST ambit and therefore, it could be first petroleum product that could come in well within GST network.” Reacting to the development, Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was optimistic about the inclusion of petroleum under the GST.

RBI permits co-operative banks to become small finance banks

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed urban co-operative banks (UCBs) to become small finance banks (SFBs) by giving them freer access to branches and opening up a larger market. The move is aimed at bringing UCBs into mainstream banking. “It has been decided to allow voluntary transition of UCBs meeting the prescribed criteria into SFBs,” the RBI stated in its monetary policy statement. The apex bank said that a detailed scheme will be announced shortly.

Europe and Mexico impose retaliatory tariffs on US

After the Trump administration imposed steel and aluminium tariffs on the Europe and Mexico, a host of countries have done the same. Mexico has imposed a series of tariffs and is set to hike the prices of pork, apples, potatoes, bourbon, and cheese. The tariffs could be in the range of 15 to 25% and will have a negative impact on several US industries. Mexico’s Economy Ministry said that the tariffs will remain as long as the US continues to impose duties on Mexican steel and aluminium. The European Union also said that it plans to apply tariffs on US products worth 2.8 billion euros in July.

Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius